In Defense of Spiders

Jean and Fred Hort

Photo by Jean and Fred Hort on Flickr. Courtesy of

Zaynab Kouatli, Opinion Editor

It’s a tale as old as time; a spider is minding its business when suddenly it hears a shrew scream, “EW OMG KILL THAT DISGUSTING SPIDER WTF.” Before the spider can even understand what all the yelling is about, a shoe squashes its body.  

Everyone seems to absolutely hate spiders and there is even a pathological fear of these creepy crawlers known as arachnophobia. The hate spiders get stems from people’s opinions that they are “creepy and ugly.”  

Honestly the “spiders are creepy, so I am going to kill them” argument is so vain. It’s not the spider’s fault that it doesn’t have pretty privilege. I think most of my friends’ boyfriends are creepy and ugly but that doesn’t mean I’m going stomp them with my platform Demonias. 

Look, I understand why people are so afraid of spiders. We see these arachnids constantly, but we are not entirely familiar with their habits and behaviors. It almost seems unnatural and eerie to see something with eight eyes and eight legs move so quickly.  

According to National Geographic, there are around 45,000 species of spiders. However, all 45,000 species of spiders get a bad reputation because of maybe two or three deadly spiders. Most spiders are not only beautiful but also incredibly helpful to us humans.  

Biblically accurate angels are just as creepy in appearance as spiders. But angels had a good marketing team during the renaissance period, that made them appear as these ethereal beings. Therefore, the solution to all this “spider hate” nonsense is for me to promote all the amazing things spiders do! 

Spiders serve an important function; they regulate insect populations and ensure that crop productions are not completely destroyed by invasive species. You would not have food on your table with out spiders because they eat the destructive pests in agriculture.   

I know what you are thinking, “If a spider is living rent free in my house, I’m going to kill it.” Well, this a notion that is wildly inaccurate because spiders are putting in the work to earn their stay in your home. If you make the wise decision to let the spider live, it will reward you by getting rid of unwanted pests such as flies, cockroaches, earwigs, gnats and mosquitos.  

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes include Zika virus, West Nile virus, Chikungunya virus, dengue, and malaria.” Worldwide, mosquito-borne viruses can cause life-threatening illnesses. Letting the spider in your house live might just save your life.  

I think many people are under the assumption that spiders are aggressive and itching to bite you. This assumption is just that, an assumption. Many spiders do not want to be seen by humans, that why we see them running away at such a rapid speed. If you are agitating a spider by poking it, it will attempt to defend itself. But who could blame the spider, Humans are extremely larger than spiders, so it is only warranted for it to defend itself when necessary.   

Still scared of spiders? Well, I have just the fun fact that will humanize these amazing arachnids for you. Almost every female spider is a wonderful mother. They lay their eggs in soft silken sacs, hidden away under leaves and protected by the mother spider. Other species of spiders will take their egg sacs with them to ensure the protection of their spiderlings.  

I have been raising jumping spider for the past two years and through this experience I have found that spiders are incredibly caring mothers. Jumping spiders not only lactate but also care for their spiderlings into adulthood.  

If you are still not convinced to keep spiders in your home, I hope you enjoy the cockroaches roaming in your kitchen, flies buzzing around you and earwigs waiting to make a home in your ear. If you really can’t stand the thought of a spider in your residence, please just capture, and release it outside. Lastly, if you are the type of monster that will kill a spider living outside, I hope a black widow bites you. 🙂